THAT BLESSED CHRISTMAS NIGHT

ABINGDON PRESS
ILLUSTRATED BY DEBORAH PEREZ-STABLE
ISBN 0-687-00626-0

With tender words that tell the story of the first Christmas, Chaconas's stanzas ring with the reverence and joy of a traditional carol.  The pages unfold the nativity scene - the shepherds and their sheep, a gentle cow, a snow-white dove. Perez-Stable's illustrations warmly gives us the story as a children's Christmas pageant, complete with child-friendly costumes and  props. While children will enjoy this book, the whole family will delight in sharing it, perhaps as a new read-aloud family tradition.

Behind the scenes: I've always loved Christmas and especially the old Christmas carols - Away in the Manger, Silent Night, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, and all the rest. So when an editor at Abingdon Press asked me to write a Christmas book for them, it seemed like a natural thing to do - to write it as a carol. 

Together, the editor and I searched for the right illustrator.  We found Deborah Perez-Stable.  Deborah is an amazingly talented children's portrait artist, and she agreed to do the book. It was her idea to do it as a children's pageant, and I'm glad she did, as this makes the book so very kid-friendly.  Deborah contacted several families from her church and used their children as models.  When the book came out, Deborah sent me a special copy - each page autographed by the child who posed for that page.  It's one of the books I treasure most.

A reader writes:  I collect children's Christmas books and this is a new favorite in my collection. I have many books that recount the manger story, but this one stands out. The artist, Deborah Perez-Stable, chose to depict children in a Christmas pageant representing all of Bethlehem's finest folk. The result is heartfelt. Not only that, but Chaconas' rhyming text sings with a beauty all its own.

And another:  The rhymes in the story are musical and sweet. The illustrations alone are worth buying the book for. Enjoy! This book is a treat.

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2006 Dori Chaconas